A teenager in Ohio fell victim to the oldest scam on record while playing Fortnite. Hopefully his loss will stand as a good lesson for the legions of other neophytes cutting their teeth on the popular battle royale game.
What happened: The 13-year-old, named Jake, was playing a match when a stranger made him a tempting offer. He could have free skins for his character — a character that, according to Jake’s mom Amy, he’d already invested a significant amount of money in. All Jake had to do was give the stranger his account details, including his password.
I’m not necessarily judging here. I, like most, am not immune to the lure of bright, shiny digital loot. But I’m sure there are some of you automatically reaching up to anxiously clutch your hair, like you’re watching a horror movie character about to enter a dark basement alone, and saying, “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!”
And yeah, it went about as well as you might expect. Amy told WLWT, “The guy took over his account, but also took over his email account and changed the passwords, changed the recovery passwords and the phone number.” The person also had access to Amy’s credit card, as it was attached to his account.
So what did we learn? Let’s start with the obvious: Don’t give your password — any password — out to strangers on the internet, even if you think it might get you a sweet new skin.
Also, this might serve as a reminder that a lot of Fortnite players are pretty damned young and might need a bit of a lesson in what to do. We might take it for granted that the darned kids nowadays know every trick in the book when it comes to technology, but that’s not always the case.
Epic Games reminds users on its site that it doesn’t ask for your password and that you shouldn’t share it with anyone. It also throws in a plug for HaveIBeenPwned, which is helpful.